Grand jury finds no violations in police officer's fatal shooting of South Omaha gunman - Omaha.com
Published Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 12:37 am
Grand jury finds no violations in police officer's fatal shooting of South Omaha gunman

Law enforcement reports provided new details of a police officer's fatal shooting of a South Omaha gunman last spring as a Douglas County grand jury Wednesday concluded its investigation of the case.

The grand jury found no wrong­doing on the part of Officer Coral Walker, who shot and killed the gunman, who had killed two people and wounded two others. It also found no wrong­doing in six other deaths of people who were in law enforcement custody or being apprehended.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said he couldn't disclose the discussions of the grand jury, which meets in secret.

But authorities' accounts indicate that Walker acted quickly after two witnesses flagged him down June 15 and pointed out the gunman.

Walker was driving on F Street as 911 dispatchers aired broadcasts about a man indiscriminately shooting people. Two people hollered at him that someone had been shot.

Walker pulled up near the gunman on Dahlman Avenue and ordered him to stop and drop his gun. Instead, Jorge Abraham Zarazua-Rubio, 25, turned around and pointed the gun at Walker.

Zarazua-Rubio opened fire, and Walker began shooting from his cruiser.

Investigators determined that Zarazua-­Rubio, who was in the country illegally, had fired a handful of shots. Two bullets hit Walker's cruiser.

Walker fired more than 10 times, killing the man. An autopsy concluded that Zarazua-Rubio had been strung out on toxic amounts of methamphetamine.

Zarazua-Rubio killed bystanders Pascual Bautista-Raymundo and Anthony Vazzano, both 25. He wounded Aaron Anderson, 31, and Angel Cabrera, 46.

The grand jury also found no wrongdoing on the part of an Omaha undercover police officer who shot at a car carrying two people on March 8. Jason Welch, 34, died after the SUV in which he was riding rammed several police cars in the parking lot of the Walgreens at 51st and Center Streets.

Gun drawn, an undercover officer was standing in the opening of his driver's side door — ordering Welch and the driver, Jennifer Lovings, to stop. They continued ramming the car, the passenger side of the SUV closing in on the officer.

As the SUV with the pair crashed into the police vehicle, Welch reached down to the floorboard. Just a few feet away and fearing that Welch was reaching for a gun, the undercover officer opened fire. Two shots hit Welch — one in the back of the head and one in the back of a shoulder.

Lovings continued driving and abandoned the car several blocks away, leaving Welch behind, according to police reports. No gun was found inside. Along the way, Lovings tossed $7,000 in cash from the vehicle.

The undercover officer, a 10-year veteran, had never before fired his gun on duty.

The other cases:

» The Jan. 1 shooting death of Tyree Bell.

The 31-year-old was mentally ill and suicidal when police confronted him during a domestic disturbance. Bell held up his 3-year-old son as a shield and later pointed two weapons at officers. Four officers fired at Bell, who died at Creighton University Medical Center.

» The Dec. 29 death of Jonathan Lewis, who died of a heart attack under supervised care at Lasting Hope Recovery Center.

» The Feb. 15 death of Robert C. Willis, who was suspected of firing shots near 33rd and Ernst Streets. Willis, 31, refused a police officer's commands to drop the weapon and then fatally shot himself.

» The Feb. 28 death of Justin B. Hogan, who hanged himself in jail.

» The June 30 death of David Richardson. Omaha police were called to 18th and Harney Streets about 3 a.m. on a report of a disoriented man writhing on the ground. Richardson, 25, was handcuffed and taken to a hospital, where he later died.

Autopsy results indicated that Richardson, who had cocaine in his system, died of drug toxicity.

Contact the writer: Todd Cooper

todd.cooper@owh.com    |   402-444-1275

Todd covers courts and legal issues for The World-Herald.

Read more related stories
Rain expected to end by mid- to late morning
3 Nebraska Board of Education candidates call for high standards
Agreement reached to end dog racing at Bluffs Run at end of 2015
Douglas County Board candidates say they aren't ruled by party
96th Street to have head-to-head traffic
At NU's helm, J.B. Milliken built the university by building relationships with state leaders
Video: Stothert says Crossroads project is 'full speed ahead,' but she won't support bond issue
Ex-Obama official urges approval of Keystone XL pipeline
Benefit to be held for family of Omaha shooting victim
Omaha Personnel Board to weigh a ‘ban-the-box’ proposal for city job applications
New Alegent Creighton Clinic to open in Council Bluffs
Grace: Your older self has a request — use sunscreen
Kelly: Huskers' glory days of '80s live on — on the small screen and on stage
Beau McCoy calls Pete Ricketts a 'convenient conservative' for immigration stance
Police ID body found near 36th, Seward Streets
World champion Crawford's promoter working to have title defense at CenturyLink Center
Hail, strong winds, heavy rain hit south-central Nebraska
'Fairly old' human skull found in Mills County
Kelly: Started at a dining room table, Home Instead thriving at 20 with $1B in annual revenue
Omaha crash victim, 19, had touched many lives
Firefighters take on 'fully engulfed barn fire'
Council Bluffs school board approves new district headquarters
Officials announce effort to lure more veterans to Nebraska
SB 132nd Street lane closed
Shane Osborn grabs several endorsements
< >
COLUMNISTS »
Kelly: Huskers' glory days of '80s live on — on the small screen and on stage
The 1984 NFL draft was unusual for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, and these days it's remembered in the name of a rock band, the 1984 Draft. Tonight, the band will be featured nationally on the NFL Network in a documentary about — what else? — the 1984 draft.
Kelly: Started at a dining room table, Home Instead thriving at 20 with $1B in annual revenue
The idea that Paul Hogan had studied and then hatched at his mother's table was that older people, rather than moving in with relatives or to an assisted-living center, would much prefer to stay home instead.
Breaking Brad: Nebraska GOP candidates unified against naked squirrels
Some of these Nebraska campaigns are tilting pretty far right. At a recent forum, there was a consensus that we need to ban public dancing and clothe naked squirrels in public parks.
Breaking Brad: Inside the mind of a 99-year-old real estate agent
I saw an article about a 99-year-old real estate agent who's still working. “This house is extra special. It has indoor toilets!”
Breaking Brad: Into the claw machine! Florida kid follows Lincoln kid's lead
In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a child climbed inside a claw machine. Hey, Florida kid: Nobody likes a copycat.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
7M Grill
Half Off Delicious Comfort Fusion Food & Drinks!
Buy Now
PHOTO GALLERIES »
< >
SPOTLIGHT »
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
WORLD-HERALD ALERTS »
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for Omaha.com's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »